Essay About Curley’s Wife

1075 words - 4 pages

Essay about Curley’s wife

Curley’s wife is the only female character in the novel Of Mice of
Men; Curley’s wife is never given a name and is only referred to in
reference to her husband. Like the other people on the ranch, she is
very lonely and has dreams of a better life which never come true.

The author John Steinbeck introduces Curley’s wife in a symbolic ness
way, this is shown when George is talking to Lennie about the dream
and when Curley’s wife first meets both the men. “Both men glanced up,
for the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off. A girl was
standing there looking in.” The symbolic ness of the word sunshine is
hope, freedom, happiness and dreams. This foreshadows that she may
cause trouble or come in the way and could ruin it all for Lennie and
George. Steinbeck also describes her as a ‘girl’, which tells us that
she is very playful, childish and vulnerable.

Curley’s wife is trying to make her self attractive by applying make
up and dressing up as if she was going to a party. This is clear shown
as Steinbeck describes her “She had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced
eyes” This suggests she is trying to be provocative and incongruous.

Curley’s wife also wears red, red gives the symbolic ness of danger
and seductiveness. Curley’s wife is described “Heavily made up. Her
fingernails were red. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like
sausages. She wore a cotton house dress and red mules, on the insteps
of which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers.” Again the red
on her fingernails and the red mules are symbolic to danger. Steinbeck
is again suggesting that women are trouble makers who ruin everything
for the men. Curley’s wife is in a ranch and she dresses up as if she
is going outside.

Curley’s wife also uses her body to attract the men. This is shown
when “She put her hands behind her back and then leaned against the
door frame so that her body was thrown forward.” She acts as if she is
a tart and causes a bad influence on the men who work at the ranch.

Curley’s wife acts very provocative, playful, childish and
flirtatious, this is because she is very lonely and has no power at
all. Nobody knows the real person she is because no one ever dares to
get in trouble with her. Curley’s wife is often presented negatively
by Steinbeck such as when she is cruel to crooks after his hopes have
been raised by the dream. This is easily shown when Curley’s wife
snaps at Crooks. “keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung
up on the tree so easy.” Curley’s wife is being racist because she is
so angry and so lonely. She is powerless on the ranch and the only
person she has power is on Crooks who is black. She is basically just
exercising her power on him because she can get him lynched on a tree.
She uses the word Nigger which shows that she is racist. This shows
that the society in the 1930s was racist.

Curley’s relationship with his wife seems as if they...

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